Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats

THE  CATHOLIC  CHURCH.                                             161
diem of 50 applicants for out-door relief, and it is In every respect a veil-mana-
ged and useful Institution.
The Cantonments, which are of Considerable extent, occupy some broken and
undulating ground along the river-side between the city and the civil lines.
In consequence of the facilities for obtaining an abundant supply of grass In the
neighbourhood, they are always occupied by an English cavalry regiment. The
barracks are very widely scattered, an arrangement which doubtless Is attended
with some inconveniences, but Is apparently conducive to the health of the troops,
for there Is no station in India where there is less sickness*a happy result? which
Is also due in part to the 'dryness of the climate during the greater part of the
year and the excellence of the natural drainage In the rains.
The English Church, consecrated by Bishop Dealtry in December 1856, Is
in a nondescript style of architecture, but has a not Inelegant Italian campanile,
which is visible from a long distance. The Interior has been lately enriched by
a stained-glass window in memory of a young officer of the 10th Hussars, who
met his death by an accident while out pig-sticking near Shergarh.
The adjoining compound was for many years occupied by a miserably
mean and dilapidated shed, which was most appropriately dedicated to
St. Francis, the Apostle of Poverty, and served as a Catholic Chapel. This was
taken down In January, 1874, and on. the 18th of the same month, being the
feast of the Holy Name, the first stone was laid of the new building, which bears
the title of the Sacred Heart The ground-plan and general proportions are in
accordance with ordinary Gothic precedent, bat all the sculptured details.,
whether in wood or stone, are purely Oriental In design. The carving in the
tympanum of the three doorways, the tracery In the windows, both of the aisles
and the clerestory and the highly decorated altar In the Lady Chapel, may all
be noted as favourable specimens of native art. The dome which surmounts
the choir is the only feature which I hesitate to pronounce a success, as seen
frc^u the outside; its interior effect is very good. I originally Intended it to
be a copy of a Hindu dklmra^ such as that of the temple of Madan Mohan at
Brindaban; but fearing that this might prove an offence to clerical prejudices,
I eventually altered It into a dome of the Russian type, which also is distinctly
of Eastern origin and therefore so far in keeping with the rest of the building.
As every compromise must,, It fails of being entirely satisfactory.
The eastern half of the Ghurchj consisting of the -ipse, choir, and two
transepts^ "was roofed in and roughly fitted up for the celebration of Mass by
* OeeafiiGimily is IMS &o ImppefewHttmt every single ward in tiie iboapitel has been empty,